The Trailblazers Men's Tennis team had its best first day at Nationals in three years yesterday, recording two first round wins - the first and the last of the day, according to Head Coach James Humphrey.
"Juan Bravo had the distinction of playing the very first match of the tournament, and made the most of the opportunity defeating his No. 1 singles opponent from Oakton 6-1, 6-3. The courts were playing slow and the balls heavy from humidity, but Juan's serve and forehand were booming. Neil Berkel and Tyler Kerley had a fantastic No. 2 doubles match at the end of the day against a veteran
team from Scottsdale. Their wily opponents were constantly changing tactics to disrupt service games, but Berkel and Kerley found answers to each of their opponent's strategies. They won the first set in a tiebreaker, lost the second set, and were broken in the first and third games of the third set, but they never got down and broke back in answer each time. Facing frustration from several questionable calls from the umpire, Berkel and Kerley found a way to close out the last game after four dueces and record the victory.
"At No. 1 doubles, Juan Bravo and Joe Hawkes almost pulled out a great win over a very talented team from Meridian. After losing the first set by just one break, they made an adjustment to have Juan start the second set serving on a different side. The move worked well, and they jumped out to a 4-1 lead with inspired returning and net rushing. After nearly breaking to finish the second, they held again to force a third set. In the third, things were even until their opponents got a break in the fourth game. A few shots that went the wrong way were the difference as Bravo and Hawkes went down 6-2, but the match elevated their doubles game for the consolation round."
#1S: Juan Bravo def Nick Adamovic (Oakton) 6-1, 6-3
#2S: Neil Berkel lost to Pedro Rodriguez (USC Lancaster) 6-3, 6-1
#3S: Joe Hawkes lost to Dave Fosnacht (USC Lancaster) 6-1, 6-4
#4S: Tyler Kerley lost to Vincenzo Ciccone (ASA) 6-0, 6-0
#5S: Alex Prusaczyk lost to Juan Estepan (Johnson County) 6-0, 6-1
#6S: Nic Lancaster lost to Richard Symanski (ABAC) 6-0, 6-1
#1D: Bravo/Hawkes lost to Bardell/Webb (Meridian) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
#2D: Berkel/Kerley def Chaurasia/Webb (Scottsdale) 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3
#3D: Lancaster/Prusaczyk lost to Samowitz/Verdi 6-4, 6-2